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Additions 12.03.12, 3.3.17.

1429, Private William DUMAYNE - 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born in the parish of St. Sepulchre, Northampton, c.1833.

1841 Census

St Sepulchre, Northampton.

William, aged 8, is shown the eldest of 5 children born to George and Sarah Dumayne.


Enlisted at London on the 4th of February 1851.

Age: 19.

Height: 5' 8".

Trade: Clerk.

Features: Fresh complexion. Hazel eyes. Dark brown hair.


Tried by a Regimental Court-martial on the 20th of October 1854 for "disrespectful lingo" [sic] and awarded 50 lashes, of which 25 were remitted.

Rejoined the regiment from Scutari on the 15th of June 1855, where he had been since the 19th of December 1854.

Discharge & pension

Discharged, "Invalided", from Kilmainham on the 26th of October 1857 as, "Suffers from Secondary Syphilis - causing contraction of the right eye and partial loss of vision of the left eye."

Granted a pension of 7d per day for 18 months, "final."

Served 6 years 9 months, of which 1 year 1 month were disallowed. (No reason is given for this.) In Turkey and the Crimea, 2 years.

Conduct: "good."

In possession of one Good Conduct badge.

Aged 25 years on discharge.

To live in Northampton.


Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps for Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman and Sebastopol.

A supplementary roll (undated), signed by Major Henry Holden, shows him as being issued with the Crimean medal (with clasps for Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman) on the 7th of October 1855.

In the M.S.M. records at the P.R.O. there is an entry for him relating to a letter received from a Mr. Mansfield, M.P. (dated the 10th of April 1894 and the reply being sent on the 17th of April) that "William Dumayne sought a medal and annuity".

The reply was that:

"The M.S.M. and annuity were confined to soldiers above the rank of Corporal and the D.C.M. was the appropriate award for gallant conduct in the Crimea and such an award could not, at this great distance of time, be taken into consideration."


He is not shown in either the 1877 list or in the 1879 revised list of members of the Balaclava Commemoration Society.

Attended the Annual Dinner in 1897.

In April of 1897 he wrote to Mr. T.H. Roberts:

"Derby Road,


Dear Sir,

In reply to your kind offer and invitation to come to London, I am pleased to be able to say, yes. I will thankfully accept the same and if still living, will come up to London, as it is now forty years since I have seen or spoken to any of my old comrades. Your previous communication has been the means of an actual old comrade, (James Mayhew) to write to me from London. I am entirely at your orders and instructions and will follow same.

I am, Sir,

Yours faithfully,

W.A. Dumayne.

Formerly No. 1429, 13th Light Dragoons."

He was present at the Fleet Street offices of T.H. Roberts for the Jubilee celebrations held there in June 1897, and signed the testimonial given to Mr. Roberts on that occasion. (There is a copy in the "Memoirs" file.)

Life after service

1861 Census

Main Road, Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmoreland.

William A. Dumayne, 28, Boarder, Shoemaker, born Northampton.

Marriage registered

William Allen Dumayne and Margaret Gaskell, September Quarter 1863, in Kendall. Her father was a Coal Merchant and local Methodist Preacher.

1871 Census

Victoria Road, Northampton.

William a Dumayne, 38, born Northampton.

Margaret Dumayne, 31, born Kendal.

1881 Census

William Dumayne has yet to be found on the 1881 Census. However, his wife was living in Kendal:

11, Green Road, Kendal.

Margaret Dumayne, 41, married, Housekeeper, born Kendal.

A visitor and a boarder are also shown

1891 Census

William A. Dumayne, 58, Shoe Manufacturer, born Northampton.

Margaret Dumayne, 51, born Kendal.

1901 Census

65, Derby Road, Northampton.

William Dumayne, 68, Army Pensioner, born Northampton.

Margaret Dumayne, 61, born Kendal.

Death & burial

Deaths registered

William Allen Dumayne, 69, December Quarter 1902, in Northampton.

Margaret Dumayne, 68, June Quarter 1908, in Northampton.

William Dumayne died in the Northampton Infirmary on the 15th of October 1902, aged 68 years, from the effects of a broken leg suffered in an accident a month previously.

Certain passages from this report raise the question of his ever having ridden in the Charge, but he was accepted by T.H. Roberts and he also received some help from the "Roberts' Fund".

Extract from Lloyds Weekly News, 26th of October 1902:

Sad Death of a Balaclava Hero

An inquest was held at the Northampton Infirmary of Wednesday last, touching on the death of William Allen Dumayne, aged 62, who fell and broke his leg on September 11th. He died there on Wednesday as a result of the accident, and the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."

The deceased was an old Crimean veteran, and took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade. In an interview with the widow, our correspondent was informed that he had greatly appreciated the kindness of Mr. T.H. Roberts, of No. 158 Fleet Street, London, who has been the instigator of the Fund for the survivors of the famous charge. Mr Dumayne was a constant reader of "Lloyd's." He was looking forward with great pleasure to the coming annual dinner to the veterans, in fact, he was going to post his acceptance of the invitation when he met with the accident that caused his death."

Included in the newspaper article was a line drawing of him. (There is a copy in the 13th Hussar file.)

(Click on image to enlarge)

Following an offer by Mr. Roberts to defray his funeral expenses, his widow sent the following letter:

"65 Derby Road,


Dear Mr. Roberts,

Thank you so much for your kind offer. Though not able to defray the funeral expenses myself, a friend of my late husband has kindly offered to do it for me, so I shall not have to take it from your fund - it will leave a little more for some-one else.

I remain,

Yours faithfully.

(Signed) M. Dumayne."

William Dumayne was buried in Grave No. A2 2961, in the Billing Road Cemetery at Northampton. No headstone was erected, the grave being a common one. (See photograph of his grave area in the 13th Hussar file.)

References & acknowledgements

Registrations of marriage and death, and Census information for 1841, and 1861 - 1901, kindly provided by Chris Poole.

To follow up

Northampton Daily Chronicle, 9 March 1895:


Sir, I should like to call the attention of the Committee who are organising the concert for the benefit of "Wm. Burns" one of the survivors in the charge of the Light Brigade, to the fact that there is one other survivor in the town who is in equally necessitous circumstances, and equally deserving of public sympathy and support.

William Dumayne, who was in the charge as a private in the 13th Light Dragoons, was discharged in 1857 with the loss of one eye, and has now become, through misfortune and illness, almost totally dependent on his pension of one shilling a day.

Townsman, Wednesday October 15th 1902:


Mr J.F. Stops, acting as deputy for Mr C.C. Becks, Borough Coroner, held two inquests at the Northampton Infirmary this (Wednesday) afternoon. The first was with regard to the death of Wm. Allen Dumayne, of 65 Derby Road, Northampton, who died in the Infirmary this morning as the result of an accident sustained on Sept. 11th.

Margaret Dumayne, widow of the deceased, said he was a shoe manufacturer, 69 years of age. On the 11th September he went out to go to the Post Office. He was not in good health. He was brought back ten minutes later by two policemen, who carried him on a chair. He said he fell down in the street, and that it was quite an accident. On the following Saturday, Sept 13th, he was taken to the Infirmary.

George Herbert Lewis, house surgeon of the Northampton Infirmary, said the man was admitted suffering from a broken leg. He died on Oct 15th as a result of the accident.

The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." The deceased was an old Crimean veteran, and was one of the "noble Six Hundred" who took part in the famous charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava. He was one of the few remaining survivors of the gallant charge.

Roger's Local Commentary, Thursday October 16th 1902:

I notice that William A. Dumayne, a Crimean veteran, who was one of the few survivors of the galant six hundred who took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava, died yesterday morning from the effects of an accident sustained on September 13th last, when he fell down in the street and broke his leg. The old soldier, who was 69 years of age, died in the Northampton Infirmary, and at the inquest, held yesterday, a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.

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